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#139888 - 05/07/05 04:16 PM Young=McDojo?
dogma911 Offline
Newbie

Registered: 05/05/05
Posts: 15
If you go to a TKD club and it has many very young 1st or 2nd Dan students, does that suggest a McDojo? Can someone look- [image]http://www.sokcho.fsnet.co.uk/images/group4.jpg[/image]
Do they look too young?

(Not trying to be an ageist, just from what Ive read on these forums, yound BB can often mean McDojos.)

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#139889 - 05/07/05 07:09 PM Re: Young=McDojo? [Re: dogma911]
DefenselessChild Offline
Member

Registered: 03/16/05
Posts: 103
Most of the time I would say yes. But, it is possible to have young students who just happen to be phenomenal.

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#139890 - 05/08/05 03:54 PM Re: Young=McDojo? [Re: DefenselessChild]
dogma911 Offline
Newbie

Registered: 05/05/05
Posts: 15
ok. Thanks. I think I'm gonna go to a different one anyway.

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#139891 - 07/11/05 01:59 AM Re: Young=McDojo? [Re: dogma911]
Spin_Hook Offline
Member

Registered: 07/07/05
Posts: 45
I don't know...my feeling on young black belts has always been that I can pick them up and toss them halfway across the room one handed...as such, they're not really proficient martial artists because they can't defend themselves against a stronger attacker. I just feel that you have to reach a certain crossroads of physical and mental maturity before you should be able to test for a black belt.

I think the question you should ask is "how much does testing cost at your school?" If it's 10 bucks a shot...then he's probably just promoting young black belts. If it's a few hundred a test then I would say it's a "mcdojo" and they're just trying to cash in.
_________________________
Aim first to understand; then to be understood.

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#139892 - 07/11/05 05:01 AM Re: Young=McDojo? [Re: Spin_Hook]
Foundation Offline
Member

Registered: 03/21/05
Posts: 343
You pay so much for testing? the school I'm in now asks 2-3 bucks for testing and my previous school tested free of charge. I didn't realise how much it could cost

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#139893 - 07/11/05 07:14 AM Re: Young=McDojo? [Re: Spin_Hook]
wynnema Offline
Member

Registered: 02/02/05
Posts: 82
Loc: Preston
Quote:

I don't know...my feeling on young black belts has always been that I can pick them up and toss them halfway across the room one handed...as such, they're not really proficient martial artists because they can't defend themselves against a stronger attacker. I just feel that you have to reach a certain crossroads of physical and mental maturity before you should be able to test for a black belt.

I think the question you should ask is "how much does testing cost at your school?" If it's 10 bucks a shot...then he's probably just promoting young black belts. If it's a few hundred a test then I would say it's a "mcdojo" and they're just trying to cash in.




most koreans get their black belts at a young age, that is why you see many 5th Dan's in their 30's. Of course they are at a disadvantage size wise, but its not all about street defence. Some people actually practive it as a sport.

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#139894 - 07/11/05 01:48 PM Re: Young=McDojo? [Re: wynnema]
Supremor Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/22/04
Posts: 2510
Loc: UK
This topic has been discussed many times on this forum...

The one thing I would suggest, is that if there are alot of young BBs, it will inevitably mean that there are alot of young students. This is fine if they are in separate classes, but if the classes are integrated, then it might be fustrating for adults.

Otherwise, use your instincts- are the BBs in your oppinion worthy of being BBs. This gut instinct will probably be far more usefeul in deciding the worthiness of a school, than us debating whether or not young BBs are a sign of a McDojo or not.

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#139895 - 07/11/05 06:36 PM Re: Young=McDojo? [Re: Supremor]
cannonfodder Offline
Member

Registered: 06/05/05
Posts: 54
Loc: Kansas
yeah it's really just a generalization. go take a look and see how you feel about it.

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#139896 - 07/13/05 04:30 PM Re: Young=McDojo? [Re: cannonfodder]
Spin_Hook Offline
Member

Registered: 07/07/05
Posts: 45
Very true. If all the students are worthy of holding that rank then fine. All that I'm really trying to say is that I have seen a LOT of young black belts (in that 11-15 year old range) that couldn't defend themselves from a sack of potatoes...whether in "real-life" combat or in the sport version of martial arts.

And I mean the whole issue really comes down to your own personal standards of what constitutes a "deserving" person. People in general seem to think they deserve rewards just for showing up or trying moderately hard, but when I see a TRULY accomplished black belt demonstrating his skills I can't help but think that at this point I'd be ashamed to throw a black belt on.

Bottom line for me is, "if a 15 year old black belt can't defend himself against me (when I'm a yellow belt), then he needs to work a little more until he's worthy of that rank."
_________________________
Aim first to understand; then to be understood.

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#139897 - 07/14/05 02:48 AM Re: Young=McDojo? [Re: Spin_Hook]
Mandolynn Offline
Member

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 195
Loc: Wisconsin, USA
Well, can they atleast tie their belts correctly? I saw a boy not much older than 8 years old with a red/black belt that was tied completely wrong. I swear I almost started to cry.

There are schools that produce very young black belts that are not Mcdojangs.They may not be able to defend themselves against a 200 pound man, but they have excelent technique and forms. And being able to produce this kind of young black belt reflects very well on the instruction available at that school, being that it takes so much more patience and clarity to teach children. Bottom line when picking a school, choose on the quality of the student, not their ages.

Oh, and if you really think about it, once a kid gets their black belt from a mcdojang most of them wouldn't stay around because they essentially got what they paid for. If its the same black belt kids coming back consistanly for months and years it gets less likely it is a mcdojang.

(and just if you were wondering, if I had a school, you would have to be very very good and mentally mature to get a black belt if you are younger than 15.)
_________________________
My bladed nunchucks are super sweet.

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#139898 - 07/14/05 03:11 AM Re: Young=McDojo? [Re: dogma911]
Raziel00uk Offline
Newbie

Registered: 05/23/05
Posts: 23
argg, wrote a big post and lost it :P oh well it went soemthing like this (I think)

when I went for my bb we had to do 3 pre gradings before it ( int he weeks just before ) these wern't judged on but were more to get you to know what to expect etc. Well I saw some juniors there (much younger than 15) who put alot of the adults to shame (form/tecnique) :P but also alot that well wern't exactly bad but just didn't bother trying.

Having said that thought I saw alot of adults doing the same.

MY point is, don't judge a book by it's cover :P go along and try a few classes first.

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#139899 - 07/14/05 08:26 AM Re: Young=McDojo? [Re: dogma911]
Acid Offline
Newbie

Registered: 07/14/05
Posts: 12
Loc: Australia
i have a general way of deciding where i paricipate in martial arts.. i ask the head/lead (if there is more than one) instructor how long it takes to become a black belt and what is it that the title BLACK BELT means to them.. the answer they give determines if i would want anything to do with the particular instructor...

how long - i say a minimum of three years training (at least twice a week)
the term BLACK BELT - this i find varies greatly. as each style has different focuses, but they definantly need to mention the words: dedication, experience, understanding, attitude, technique, respect & humility.

age doesnt affect my opinions BUT..... it is very very rare for a young person to display all of these attributes
_________________________
"The strongest way to block, is never to provoke a blow" "through form and speed comes power."

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#139900 - 07/15/05 02:06 AM Re: Young=McDojo? [Re: Acid]
Spin_Hook Offline
Member

Registered: 07/07/05
Posts: 45
I guess my opinion, summed up a little simply, boils down to this:

Any martial art is, in essence, a combat system. Your school may focus on the sport aspect more heavily or even upon just the aerobic benefits of getting a good high intensity work out. However, at the end of the day the original system was designed for unarmed combat and self defense. 99.9% of 12 year old black belts could not adequetely defend themself from a halfway serious adult attacker...and, to me, that makes them an ineffective martial artist by definition.

Now, I'm not trying to be negative. They are only ineffective because nature hasn't given them all the tools yet. Strength, speed, size and endurace (as well as emotional maturity) will all come with time...but at age 12-15...I'm always extremely skeptical of how a black belt got there.
_________________________
Aim first to understand; then to be understood.

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#139901 - 07/15/05 03:53 AM Re: Young=McDojo? [Re: dogma911]
BulldogTKD Offline
Member

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 294
Some people donít realize that a first degree black belt is still learning. You are not a real bad ass yet! Once you make it through the ranks and reach the black belt level you are really just beginning to mature in the style that you are involved in. The color belt ranks are like starting in grade school and once you reach what ever rank before black belt you are in senior high school and are ready to graduate and go to collage. Well first Dan is your first year in collage and you are still learning but you are learning collage material. So if you are a young BB you have more maturing and learning to do.
Define the school by the students ability, not their age and notice I did say students because everyone is different and so are their abilities.

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#139902 - 07/15/05 05:07 AM Re: Young=McDojo? [Re: Acid]
Equis Offline
Member

Registered: 06/01/05
Posts: 101
Loc: in my pants.
Quote:

i have a general way of deciding where i paricipate in martial arts.. i ask the head/lead (if there is more than one) instructor how long it takes to become a black belt and what is it that the title BLACK BELT means to them.. the answer they give determines if i would want anything to do with the particular instructor...

how long - i say a minimum of three years training (at least twice a week)
the term BLACK BELT - this i find varies greatly. as each style has different focuses, but they definantly need to mention the words: dedication, experience, understanding, attitude, technique, respect & humility.

age doesnt affect my opinions BUT..... it is very very rare for a young person to display all of these attributes




I agree ask the intructor what the main focus is of their training. Is the training for sport, competion, cardio, traditional, or te get you bad ass black belt certified in one year!

I would suggest to take an intro class to get a better feel of the school. If you don't like it just move on until you find one that meets your needs and has a solid and qualified instructor.

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#139903 - 07/16/05 02:17 AM Re: Young=McDojo? [Re: Spin_Hook]
ipscshooter Offline
Member

Registered: 12/28/03
Posts: 148
Loc: Houston, TX
Quote:

Any martial art is, in essence, a combat system. Your school may focus on the sport aspect more heavily or even upon just the aerobic benefits of getting a good high intensity work out. However, at the end of the day the original system was designed for unarmed combat and self defense. 99.9% of 12 year old black belts could not adequetely defend themself from a halfway serious adult attacker...and, to me, that makes them an ineffective martial artist by definition.


If a martial artist has to be able to adequately defend themselves against someone who is two to three times larger, who will ever REALLY be a black belt? If you won't give the belt to a 12 year old, who has demonstrated the ability to properly perform the techniques, but who can't beat someone three times larger, shouldn't the ability to defeat someone three times larger be a requirement for YOU as well? Was part of your test a full contact, no holds barred match against Bob Sapp? Do we really want "able to defeat Bob Sapp in unarmed combat" to be the standard? Hell, the man can't even throw a decent punch. He flails, and hopes something connects.... and gets named "Fighter of the Year" by Black Belt Magazine. But, I've seen MANY 10 year olds who were technically superior. What about female martial artists? Must a 5' tall 100 lb. female be able to defeat a 6'4" 230 lb. male in order to qualify?

I tend to believe that the measure of a black belt should be in the proper performance of the techniques within the curriculum, as well as the achievement of a certain level of courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control, and indomitable spirit... not the ability to kick anyone and everyone's a$$, regardless of how big they are.

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#139904 - 07/16/05 05:33 AM Re: Young=McDojo? [Re: ipscshooter]
Acid Offline
Newbie

Registered: 07/14/05
Posts: 12
Loc: Australia
i definantly agree. and i share your thoughts on what the title of "black belt" means.
_________________________
"The strongest way to block, is never to provoke a blow" "through form and speed comes power."

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#139905 - 07/21/05 11:15 PM Re: Young=McDojo? [Re: Acid]
Spin_Hook Offline
Member

Registered: 07/07/05
Posts: 45
And while I can see where you're coming from shooter, I would still disagree. I apologize for making a rough generalization about strength and size since making that's where the confusion is coming in. Technique, mindset, and conditioning are all vital aspects of a well trained black belt. However, unless your style is useful in a real life combat situation then you haven't really earned the right to be wearing that belt. While that is, of course, difficult to "test"...it still can be done to some degree. We fight VERY high contact at my school, which I'm sure many do (many probably hit harder).

It is unlikely that the average adult is going to encounter an attacker twice as big and three times stronger; especially for men. In my case that would mean that the person was roughly 400 pounds and benched 600; this is not realistic. For a 12 year old child, however, virtually any adult would be double in size and much much stronger...therefore, if the child can't defend themselves...their martial arts skills are useless.

It is a reality of self defense that attackers almost always seek out smaller victims. Which is why you don't hear about a lot of 6'5 300 pound men getting mugged in grocery store parking lots. However, smaller women and children generally do become targets so expecting a female black belt to be able to demonstrate competent defense against a larger male attacker (who is actually somewhat trying) in a controlled environment is not an unrealistic criteria.

I am not trying to patronize women or children as martial artists. I have seen both groups produce outstanding black belts. Often the women have superior flexibility and beautiful high kicks. But, for the large part, the 12-15 year old black belts that I have seen should not be wearing that rank.

As for the Bob Sapp comparision. Bob Sapp is obviously not a good comparision since he represents that top 1% of the human population in fighting. That would be like expecting a 12th grade physics student to battle wits with Stephen Hawkins in order to graduate high school.

No, a black belt isn't about being able to kick everyone's ass, and I don't recall ever saying it was. But it also isn't about just being able to throw pretty kicks and say "yes, sir" "no, sir". I prefer my martial arts to be useful, not just motions I go about in the morning to help me burn off an extra large breakfast.
_________________________
Aim first to understand; then to be understood.

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#139906 - 07/22/05 12:23 AM Re: Young=McDojo? [Re: Spin_Hook]
ipscshooter Offline
Member

Registered: 12/28/03
Posts: 148
Loc: Houston, TX
Spin Hook... I can understand where you are coming from as well. And I guess we can agree to disagree on some issues. We agree on others. I agree that it's not just about courtesy, respect, etc. But, I think the Sapp comparison is more valid than you do. I agree he's an unusual specimen. But, the scenario of, for example, my 12 year old son having to engage in mortal combat with an adult attacker, with me not around, is equally unusual. And, I think that through our training, we both know that the best thing to do if we see an angry Bob Sapp coming at us is to run in the opposite direction, as far and as fast as we can...

My expectation of my son is that he should be able to handle himself against others he might regularly be in contact with when I'm not around. i.e. when he's at school. I've written about the one time he's been in a physical confrontation at school in another thread on junior blackbelts a year or so ago. One of his friends was on the ground being repeatedly kicked by a larger kid. My son saw what was happening, got between them and when the kid tried kicking him, my son blocked a couple kicks, and then knocked the kid on his butt, ending the fight. The kid had a history of picking on my son's friend, and was quite a bit larger than my son. He knew he shouldn't get involved in fights at school, but, he felt like he had to help his friend, who could have been badly injured.

While his martial arts skills may be less than perfectly effective against an adult attacker who is two to three times larger than him, they served him well against an aggressor who was within a more reasonable size range.

So, my son has demonstrated the necessary skill, speed, strength, and character to satisfy our instructor (a 6th Dan, trained by the chairman of ITF's Master's Promotion Committee), he has performed at a reasonable level against state-ranked competition in tournaments, and he has used some of his techniques effectively against a larger attacker in a "real" scenario. Thus, I will not concede, simply because he might not be able to effectively defend himself against adult attackers (assuming that is true), that his martial arts skills are useless. To the contrary, his training and his skills have been extremely useful, in many ways.

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#139907 - 07/22/05 09:04 AM Re: Young=McDojo? [Re: DefenselessChild]
Kintama Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 2724
Loc: Massachusetts
Quote:

Most of the time I would say yes. But, it is possible to have young students who just happen to be phenomenal.



http://www.sokcho.fsnet.co.uk/images/group2.jpg
doubt it.

Might be a mcdojo, but it's seems more like a babysitting/self-confidence/make-a-good-citizen school...and they advertise as such. I didn't see the term 'self-defense' once on their website. so no false advertising there.
I personally don't think that much focus on competition/tournaments/trophies is a good thing for kids. and collecting trophies as an adult is a shallow study of MA.

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#139908 - 07/22/05 11:19 AM Re: Young=McDojo? [Re: Kintama]
Christie Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 07/12/05
Posts: 872
Loc: Waterloo, ON
Quote:

http://www.sokcho.fsnet.co.uk/images/group2.jpg
doubt it.




Wow.... they really don't strike me as being black belts. Regardles of the fact they are wearing black belts. They remind me of the white and yellow belts.... of course its just a picutre and you can't really judge from that but.... just looking at it... I don't know, can't convince myself they are really black belts.

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#139909 - 07/22/05 11:55 AM Re: Young=McDojo? [Re: Christie]
MN JC Offline
Member

Registered: 02/16/05
Posts: 189
Loc: Coon Rapids, MN USA
Quote:

Quote:

http://www.sokcho.fsnet.co.uk/images/group2.jpg
doubt it.




Do not judge a book by its cover. Now with that said, i agree with you. They look like a class of White Belts that I taught last night. Ah, well maybe I am just getting old and all of you kids look alike...?



Wow.... they really don't strike me as being black belts. Regardles of the fact they are wearing black belts. They remind me of the white and yellow belts.... of course its just a picutre and you can't really judge from that but.... just looking at it... I don't know, can't convince myself they are really black belts.


_________________________
--------------- Dream it, Live it, Be it! (What is it?) -John

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#139910 - 07/22/05 02:00 PM Re: Young=McDojo? [Re: MN JC]
Mandolynn Offline
Member

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 195
Loc: Wisconsin, USA
huh...they could have atleast straightened their uniforms. Maybe they are black belts in holding hands...
_________________________
My bladed nunchucks are super sweet.

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#139911 - 07/22/05 09:52 PM Re: Young=McDojo? [Re: Mandolynn]
Spin_Hook Offline
Member

Registered: 07/07/05
Posts: 45
Haha...yes...I would definitely run away from Bob Sapp shooter. After all, if he knocked my head off, where would I put my hat?
_________________________
Aim first to understand; then to be understood.

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